Press Release March 30, 2023

Library Champion Recognized, Terrace Dedicated at Library Foundation SD’s 20-Year Anniversary Celebration

Long-time San Diego Public Library, advocate and volunteer Katie Sullivan, received the inaugural Jim Dawe Champion Award.

On March 16, friends and supporters of the Library Foundation SD gathered to celebrate champions of the San Diego Public Library system – both past and present – at Library Foundation SD’s 20-year anniversary.

During its 20 Years of Community + Innovation event, Library Foundation SD presented longtime library advocate Katie Sullivan with the inaugural Jim Dawe Champion Award for her contributions to the public library system. The honor was presented to Sullivan by former Library Foundation Chair Mel Katz, who worked with Sullivan and other volunteers on the campaign to raise funds to build the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

Sullivan has been actively supporting the San Diego Public Library since 1985. She and her husband also championed the San Diego Central Library construction @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common, including through the Library Buy-A-Brick campaign that resulted in more than $900,000 in funds raised.

Along with presenting the very first Jim Dawe Library Champion award, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria officially dedicated one of the San Diego Central Library’s ninth-floor terraces as the new Jim Dawe Sunset Terrace.

During his lifetime, Dawe devoted endless time and energy to San Diego’s public library until his passing in 2021. He served as the founding CEO of the Library Foundation and was a member of the Board of Trustees. The terrace, accessible through the Shiley Special Events Suite, will allow the community to gather and remember his life and contribution as they look west over the downtown skyline.’

Thanks to the support of generous people like Katie Sullivan and the late Jim Dawe, we are here today and can continue championing a San Diego library system that builds community and connects people with everything that makes us feel joy.”

Patrick Stewart, CEO of Library Foundation SD

Supporters and advocates like Katie Sullivan and Jim Dawe understand that public libraries are an essential component of communities that provide free and unfettered access to information, services and more.

By looking back on 20 years of advocacy and support, friends of the public library can celebrate the successes of the last two decades while continuing to champion a robust and equitable library system for all San Diegans.

The Dawe family shows the newly dedicated Jim Dawe Sunset Terrace on the 9th floor of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

Photos from the event